top of page
  • Writer's pictureDr Joseph Nightingale

Social Media Writing 2023: A Complete Guide to Writing Copy for Social Media

Not posting on social media? Customers will wonder why. After all, everyone else is. Companies that don't post are at the mercy of others dictating their reputation. Social media allows companies to shape their own brand. Social media allows companies to speak directly to their audience. No middleman. No paying advertisers. Just pure unadulterated you.



Whether you're writing tweets, Instagram captions, or long-form LinkedIn posts and articles, social media writing is one of the cheapest, most effective digital marketing strategies.


In this complete guide, we'll explore the critical aspects of writing copy for social media. We'll consider who you're writing for, what platforms to use, and how often to post – and we'll unveil some insider social media writing tips guaranteed to succeed.


Let's get started!


Why does social media writing matter?

Social media is fast becoming the default form of online communication – the modern-day main street. But unlike past forms of marketing, social media is a dialogue, not a monologue. You're not talking at your customers; you're talking with your customers.


That creates unparalleled opportunities to expand your reach (and humanise your brand).


Many companies have seen spectacular success – growing a loyal following – without spending a dime on paid advertising. Through quirky, informative, or humorous posts, you can entertain (and retain) customers, build brand awareness, and generate leads, all for the price of a post.


Social media marketing is the ultimate equaliser – it's open to everyone. The secret to success is what you post. Get it wrong, and you tarnish your brand. Get it right, and you have billions of potential customers at your doorstep.


Better yet, convince customers to become loyal to your brand, and they're not just customers – they're a team of marketers. They'll like, share, and promote your brand 100% free of charge. They'll be your very own personal evangelists.


That's because social media isn't just a tech platform; it's sociology and psychology in action—the single greatest marketing medium of all time.


Social media statistics

Still, doubting if social media is right for your business? Don't. Here are some key statistics to consider:

  • In 2022, there were 4.59 billion social media users worldwide – equivalent to 58% of the world's population [Oberlo]

  • Despite competition from YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok, Facebook remains the world's biggest social media platform, with 2.94 billion users [DataReportal]

  • Daily social media usage by generation: 84% of 18–29-year-olds, 81% of 30–49-year-olds, 73% of 50–64-year-olds, and 45% of 65-year-old and above [Pew Research Center]

  • LinkedIn is most popular with people earning more than $75K per year in the US and outranks Instagram among college graduates [Pew Research Center]

  • People spend an average of 2.5 hours daily on social networks and messaging [DataReportal]

  • Seventy-three percent of marketers believe social media marketing is "somewhat effective" or "very effective" for their business [Buffer]


Demographics of social media

Everyone uses social media. But not everyone uses the same social media platforms. A key factor ignored by many businesses is which platforms their target market use. With so many sites, businesses can't maintain a significant presence across all of them. Businesses, therefore, benefit from focusing their efforts on the platforms that matter most.


Here's a demographic breakdown of the major social media platforms:

Social Media Platform

Numer of Active Monthly Users

Largest Age Group (Years)

Gender Split (Male)

Gender Split (Female)

Time Spent Per Day

Facebook

2.91 billion

25 - 34 (31.5%)

57%

43%

33 minutes

Instagram

2 billion

25 - 34 (32.2%)

51.8%

48.4%

29 minutes

TikTok

1 billion

10 - 19 (25%)

39%

61%

89 minutes

Twitter

211 million

18 - 29 (42%)

61.6%

38.4%

31 minutes

LinkedIn

810 million

25 - 34 (58.4%)

52%

48%

n/a

Whether your target market is male or female, young or old, you need to target the right platform. Facebook, for example, skews older, meaning it's a key location to target people 34 and older. Meanwhile, Zoomers predominate on TikTok almost exclusively. Finally, B2B companies should use LinkedIn: it's the go-to platform for businesses and professionals; nothing else comes close.


How often should you post on social media

Posting on social media consumes a lot of time. You've got to brainstorm ideas, write captions, and create engaging designs. Little wonder businesses choose to outsource their social media campaigns to agencies like Impeccable Writing.


As a rule, you should never sacrifice quality for quantity. Poor-quality posts can hurt your business more than not posting will. Nor do you want to barrage your customers with dozens of weekly posts.


We recommend these posting schedules:

  • On Twitter, post between 1 and 5 Tweets a day.

  • On Instagram, post between 3-7 times per week.

  • On LinkedIn, post between 1 and 5 times a day.

  • On Facebook, post between 1 and 2 times a day.


Following these posting schedules keeps you relevant in your customer's feed and meets expectations, but it doesn't feel like you're spamming posts.


Should you include hashtags?

Yes! Hashtags are the keywords of the social media world. For those who don't know: a hashtag is a word or keyword preceded by a hash symbol (#). The hash codes the phrase, allowing people searching for a related term to discover your post. Hashtags can also spark viral trends.

Among social media writers, there's a lot of discussion about how many hashtags are the right amount. While some say restricting yourself to only one to three hashtags is best, that's not borne out by the research. It all depends on the platform!


Here's our breakdown by platform:

  • Twitter. The character limit reduces the options for hashtags. Adding one or two works best. If possible, weave them naturally into your tweet.

  • Facebook and LinkedIn. We recommend adding one to three hashtags in Facebook posts. Overdoing it tends to come across as annoying and unprofessional.

  • Instagram. Unlike other platforms, hashtags don't disrupt the post – and they drive engagement. The platform allows up to 30 hashtags per post. According to the data, 30 Instagram hashtags per post results in the most likes and comments.


How to write copy for social media

Social media writing isn't as scary as you'd think. Remember: perfection is the enemy of the good. Like any other form of writing, the real secret is getting your thoughts down on the page – you can edit it better later.


Forget about punctuation, spelling, and structure – I know, the cardinal sin of writing! But I'm serious: it's much easier to fix bad writing than to weave perfection the first time. So, take the plunge and get started.


Consider these 5 social media writing tips for 2023:


1. Learn the language of social media

Depending on the age of your audience, you'll want to speak the lingo your customers understand. For over 50s, forget abbreviations and slang. Stick to old-school sentences and traditional grammar. While there might be a few trendy grammas out there – most don't put the hip in hip replacement.


In contrast, younger audiences – think Millennials and Zoomers – will be 100% fluent in internet-speak. IRL. LOL. Sliding into your DMs. PM. RT. AMA. GOAT. There's an endless collection of abbreviations and slang to learn and use.


Moreover, emphasising important words in CAPS is a perfect dramatic device to capture your audience's attention. Oh, and a sprinkling of emojis or even a playful misspelling of a word all serves to humanise your brand.


2. Use your brand voice

Brand voice, or Tone of Voice (TOV), is a tricky concept. Like a legendary dialogue writer, the best brand messages can only come from you. But mastering this slick style is more haphazard than many writers (or social media managers) will admit.


Go too deep into character, and you can veer into the unprofessional. Whereas staid and sensible is as enlivening as a limp handshake.


Brands that find a clear brand voice, however, tend to do better than their peers. Companies like Skittles, Wendy's, and Ryanair tend to rely on fun, witty posts. Being humorous isn't the only successful brand voice. Dove, for instance, is the queen of empathetic, caring posts full of emojis and helpful tips – like a kind friend always quick with a compliment.


For best results, stay in character for responses and comments – and tailor your brand voice to your product and customer demographic.


3. Be concise

I'll keep it short. Writing a novel isn't the purpose of social media. While longer posts have their place – for example, to go into a recent charity event you're launched – it's better to link to a longer article and keep your social media post short and sweet.


Caption lengths vary between social media platforms: Twitter famously allows just 280 characters, while Facebook is an essayist's dream at a staggering 63,206 characters (thank God for the final six)!


In reality, though, posts with 40 to 80 characters perform best – that's a fact!


4. Never forget to reply to followers

Replies aren't optional. In fact, they're your secret weapon to turn casual followers into forever customers. It could be a witty remark, an empathetic agreement, or a helpful answer. Replying to every customer isn't a viable option – especially if you're getting significant traction. But doing so intelligently and wisely can lead to serious positive results.


Not all comments will be positive, however. That's the other side to replying. It can help you own the narrative, preventing negative allegations from spiralling beyond your control.


Suppose a customer has a poor experience or doesn't like a product. These things happen – you can either question the veracity of their allegation or, if true, send them a complimentary item, offer free shipping, or even a discount code.


See the National Trust's masterful handling of a confrontation:




5. Create interactive posts

Time for the pop quiz. Can you finish this sentence: social media is a _________, not a monologue. Is the answer:

  1. Toboggan

  2. Chocolate cake

  3. Dialogue

Quizzes, questions, competitions, and more all promote brand engagement. Rather than speaking at your audience, you let them speak back. Ask their opinions on new products. Run surveys on customer service. Turn your social media account into a direct line to your customer base.


Impeccable Writing – Your Trusted Social Media Writing Agency

Looking to take your social media writing to the next level? Impeccable Writing can help you create compelling copy that engages your audience and drives conversions. With our expertise in social media marketing, we know what it takes to craft copy that stands out on social media platforms.


Don't settle for mediocre social media copy - contact us today to schedule a free consultation and learn how we can help you improve your social media writing strategy to drive more success for your business.

Comments


Take Your Business to the Next Level

bottom of page